The basic arguments in this booklet are well known amongst the established, mainstream charities and campaign groups who seek to eradicate global poverty or curb environmental damage.

"The problem isn't just the
number of people, but what
we all consume."
Christian Aid population
leaflet ,1994

Although we've quoted these groups, and our sources of information are the same as theirs, it's unlikely that you'll immediately associate them with the analysis and arguments outlined

Unfortunately for fans of conspiracy theory, this isn't much to do with sinister visits from the CIA, media bias, or death threats croaked down the phone by the shadowy, all pervading forces of the advertising mafiosi.

"Living standards of people in
rich countries is connected
with the poverty of most of the
world's poor people."
The Vegetarian Society

It's probably more to do with self-censorship: all but the most hardened optimist can see how unpopular even raising the question "do we need to consume less?" will be to the general public. It's a threatening concept when you first encounter it, and often evokes a knee-jerk denial, whether it deserves it or not.

For any organisation that relies on memberships and donations (or the Charity Commissioners' approval) to continue with work it justifiably sees as important, taking an anticonsumerist line is going to be political suicide. Few large organisations can afford to take such a risk.

[Global Excess] However, the message is slowly beginning to rear its head in many places as widely-acknowledged (if not acted upon) as other until-recently unmentionable concepts... such as that cars are, perhaps, maybe, not really such a good idea for the environment. Even the Right Hon. John Selwyn Gummer MP eventually took that one on board...

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